It is likely that, over your lifetime, you’ll encounter initiatives related to raising awareness about the Alzheimer’s disease — in a doctor’s office, on a TV screen or anywhere else. Initiatives concerning Alzheimer’s disease are also starting to come to UBC campus with a student-organized initiative, All Against Alzheimer’s.
The initiative was started by a UBC student, Sina Sahebpour, in early September. In mid-November, a team of inspired people joined him and started working on All Against Alzheimer’s on a greater scale.
“These are amazing people that work with me,” Sina said about the members his team. “All of them are very dedicated and although each of them has different reasons to be a part of the club, they all make one amazing team.”
Alzheimer’s disease is only one of numerous things All Against Alzheimer’s is planning on focusing on.
“Although we do focus primarily on Alzheimer’s, we felt it was not right to focus just on one specific disease as opposed to looking at the social aspects related to other illnesses as well.”
In the longer term, All Against Alzheimer’s club will have three different areas of focus —scientific, social and community related — which would include several initiatives including volunteering at the Hope center, organizing awareness-raising events, fundraising and researching about mental illnesses, which will hopefully result in a series of educational videos.
As for now, the club is about to start its advertising campaign and a series of speeches regarding Alzheimer’s and other mental illnesses.
“One of our goals is to understand why in such country like Canada, where all the basic human needs are met, there is such high rate of mental illnesses. One in three of us is diagnosed with some mental illness, although it does not make sense from a logical standpoint.”
Why is All Against Alzheimer’s relevant to us?
“We want to build the community of people who would care not just about themselves, but about their environment as well. We spend so long on campus and although it is a huge campus, we still feel lonely,” said Sina. “One of the best ways to deal with it is to take up the responsibility for the environment that you’re in.”
Want to join the initiative? The club will start recruiting people either in summer or in early autumn. “When we go full-scale after we get constituted in summer. We will try to recruit as many people as we can, probably around 20-30 of them.”
Before the recruitment process starts, you can join the events that are already planned by the All Against Alzheimer’s. So far there are three of them – a speech by a Hope centre doctor about Alzheimer’s, a speech about stigmas and social perceptions regarding mental illnesses, and a series of talks. The series will consist of one given by psychology Professor Steven Barnes about effects of education on student mental health, followed by a speech about learning disorders.
The first events will start during the last days of February or the beginning of March. Make sure to keep up with the dates of their organized events by following their Facebook page.
It is not only about Alzheimer’s, but about our mental state overall. All Against Alzheimer’s will hopefully be one of those initiatives that will not only make UBC students more aware on mental illnesses, but also will teach us how to approach them and make our campus an even nicer place to be.